One year after the Brexit Referendum: More, Fewer or No Referendums in Europe?

One year after Brexit, the issue of referendums seems to be everywhere: Their desirability cannot be described with a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’. There is simply more than one valid constitutional perspective in evaluating the case for or against referendums.

Continue Reading →

Five Variables of a Catalan Referendum on Independence

On 9 June 2017 the President of the Catalan Government, Carles Puigdemont, announced a referendum on Catalan independence. The Catalan thrive for independence in the current political and legal situation is not easy to grasp. Five variables are essential to discuss the potential success of such a referendum.

Continue Reading →

The Constitutional Referendum in Turkey: A far Stretch from Right to Free Elections to Referenda?

The Constitutional referendum in Turkey left many voters uncertain about the actual outcome: Unstamped ballots were registered as valid and an appeal against that procedure did not show any satisfying results. Will an appeal in front of the ECtHR show more favourable results?

Continue Reading →

No Compromises on Reproductive Rights – Why Ireland Needs Constitutional Change

On April 22, the Irish Citizens Assembly has in an overwhelming majority confirmed the need for change in Irish abortion laws. According to the majority of members of the assembly, the 8th amendment of the Irish Constitution, that de facto imposes a constitutional ban on abortion in most scenarios, needs to be amended or replaced. What constitutional change is needed?

Continue Reading →

After Article 50 and Before Withdrawal: Does Constitutional Theory Require a General Election in the United Kingdom Before Brexit?

On March 29th, Theresa May will notify the EU Council of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. This is the result of the Brexit referendum which, for the first time in the United Kingdom’s constitutional history, has opened up a powerful new source of popular sovereignty as a social fact. It is necessary for the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom that this new stream of popular social legitimacy is realigned with the existing stream of Parliamentary Sovereignty. The most effective and desirable way in which to achieve this would be for a General Election to take place.

Continue Reading →

Living Democracy in Romania: From Protest to Referendum ?

What happened in Romania in the aftermath of the so called “Second Black Tuesday”? People were demonstrating on the street, Romanian authorities spoke up, the Constitutional Court came to rule twice, ultimately a popular referendum on anti-corruption measures is being discussed. Could this be a strong sign for the rule of law against the backdrop of corruption?

Continue Reading →

Towards a Solution for the Ratification Conundrum of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement?

The ratification process of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement has been stalled following "No" victory in the Dutch referendum of 6 April 2016. Yesterday, the EU heads of states have adopted a decision addressing the Dutch concerns. The option which is currently on the table is by far the easiest to solve the ratification conundrum while responding to the arguments of the ‘no-camp’ in the referendum campaign. Any alternatives, such as the inclusion of formal reservations or a procedure leading to a Dutch withdrawal from the agreement, entail the risk of long-term legal uncertainty which would only be detrimental for the EU, the Netherlands and Ukraine.

Continue Reading →

Nothing left to do but vote – The (almost) untold story of the Italian constitutional reform and the aftermath of the referendum

A cloud of uncertainty hovers over the future of Italian politics after the failure of the constitutional referendum. The degree of uncertainty is increased by the pending proceeding before the Constitutional Court where the electoral law adopted in 2015 (Italicum) has been challenged as unconstitutional.

Continue Reading →

Italy before the Constitutional Referendum: "I do not see any Armageddon Scenario"

On Sunday, Italy will vote on the largest constitutional reform in recent history. Francesco Clementi, constitutional lawyer from the University of Perugia and one of the staunchest supporters of the reform, answers our questions about what will happen in case of a NO or a YES victory.

Continue Reading →